You may be satisfied with decades-old bathroom fixtures, but what about the pipes behind them?
The wear-and-tear on your bathroom plumbing is substantial. Between baths, showers, toilet flushes and the constant on/off use of a sink, your plumbing will eventually need replacement. Sometimes, a cosmetic repair is all that’s required. In other cases, more substantial work is necessary.
Here are five signs that the time has come to change your bathroom plumbing.
1) Outdated or faulty hardware
If your sink hardware or showerhead simply won’t come clean or if chips and rust are starting to appear, it’s time for an upgrade. Not only can older hardware make a bathroom look dated, but it can be dangerous to your health, especially if bits of metal are chipped off and caught in the water stream. Replacing this kind of hardware is typically straightforward, but always make sure to turn off the water before removing any fixtures and call a professional plumber if you encounter any problems.
2) Obvious water issues
Leaks or faulty waterlines also necessitate a bathroom plumbing upgrade. If you turn on your sink tap and water dribbles out around the fixture or if running your tub leaves a pool of water on the floor, your hardware isn’t properly sealed. In addition, be on the lookout for drainage issues that won’t go away: Tubs or showers that drain slowly — standing water in a shower especially is a problem — indicate either a clog or water that isn’t going where it should.
Flush your drains with commercial cleaners or a baking soda/vinegar mix to deal with clogs, but if they won’t stay flowing for long, you need replacement drain hardware. Also make sure to check for pools of water outside a tub or shower after draining, as this could indicate moisture in the floor. Always hire a plumber to address these types of issues.
3) Poor water volume
If the water in your shower doesn’t come out “full blast,” your pipes may be corroding. Over time, galvanized steel pipes start to degrade and their diameter narrows, causing water volume to decrease. This can affect sinks, tubs and the refill rate on a toilet, but you’ll notice it most often in showers when the pressure and volume of water lowers. This problem often requires full pipe replacement.
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